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Early College Academy Enrollment Grows

Early College Academy Students
By Robert Bledsoe

July 31, 2019 - 10:44 AM

The Mt. SAC Early College Academy is heading into its second year boasting a 300% increase in enrollment and readying to welcome its first class of 10th graders, who just completed their first Mt. SAC college level course in marine biology over the summer. 

The Mt. SAC Early College Academy at West Covina is a public high school operated in partnership with the West Covina Unified School District. Students are not charged for tuition or textbooks even when they take college-level classes. Students also have access to the college’s programs and services, including the library, tutoring and the Writing Center.

“This upcoming school year will see 10th graders have the option to take college level courses that earn them college credit,” said Joel Monroy, director of Dual Enrollment at Mt. SAC. “We plan to have our faculty teach Spanish, anthropology and music this coming year at the school.”

While Mt. SAC has an extensive Dual Enrollment program, where faculty teach college courses in nearby high schools, the academy is entirely focused around providing a more complete collegiate atmosphere and more extensive offerings of college level courses. Its campus is designed to feel more like a college campus than a high school one.

“New for this year will be an Art Studio and Student Media Center,” said Principal Candace Leuthold. “This gives the school even more of a ‘college feel’ to have an area where students study together and collaborate on projects.”

A student at the Mt. SAC Early College Academy can earn up to 50 units of college credit. It takes 60 units to earn an associate degree.

“This gives a diverse number of students a great opportunity,” said Monroy. “On the one hand, for those families who may have potential financial challenges to pay for college, a student can possibly earn close to 80% of their associate degree at the tuition-free academy. This school allows eligible students to be almost two years into a bachelor’s degree when they go off to college. This should encourage the pursuit of more advanced degrees.”

The Mt. SAC Early College Academy is located at 2226 E. Rio Verde Dr. in West Covina and starts its 2019-2020 school year on Aug. 15. Students may enter in their ninth or 10th grade year and the academy is open to everyone, with the only requirement being that they have transportation to and from the school each day. There are currently a limited number of spots open for 10th grade students in the upcoming school year. Applications are available on the school’s website at https://mtsaceca.wcusd.org/about/application.  Applications for ninth and 10th grades in the 2020-2021 school year will be accepted starting Nov. 1, 2019.